Hidden treasures

The Ara Grimani at the Venice Archaeological Museum

Unknown places & works

The Ara Grimani at the Venice Archaeological Museum

The city of Venice is home to an incredible Archaeological museum, inside the Procuratie Nuove in St Mark's Square, with pieces of Greek and Roman art of inestimable value.

The objects do not come from the archaeological excavations in the city - Venice was founded no earlier than the 5th century A.D.  - but they are the result of the collections of Venetian nobles with a passion for the ancient world, especially the Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1461-1523) and his nephew, Giovanni Grimani (1500-1593).

Among the many pieces that can be seen in the exhibition halls, the most striking is certainly the 'Ara Grimani', a Greek masterpiece of the 1st century BC, so called because for centuries it has been mistakenly considered an altar. In fact, it is the base of a sculpture (there are signs of the bolts that supported the top), perhaps representing a divinity related to the world of wine and inebriation, considering the reliefs that decorate its four faces, including a passionate kiss between a satyr and a maenad. The female figure represented from behind in the kissing scene was depicted several times in the paintings by Titian, Veronese and Correggio.

The Venice Archaeological Museum houses this wonderful masterpiece and other incredible pieces of antique art. The ticket to enter the museum - 'Museums of St. Mark's Square' - also includes a visit to the Doges Palace, the Correr Museum and the Monumental Halls of the Marciana National Library.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Unknown places & works

When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is alwa...

View

Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world

Historical Curiosities

Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...

View

Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice

Historical Curiosities

St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...

View

Treviso: Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Big Names

Near Asolo, the reign of the queen Catherine Corner, there is a small village called Altivole... Its cemetery is renowned for containin...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter

Mysteries & Legends

There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...

View

Venice: Campo delle Gatte in Venice

Unknown places & works

The names of the streets in Venice can be very unusual… For example, when you walk around the Castello district, you will come across...

View

Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople

Big Names

The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...

View

Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church

Historical Curiosities

In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...

View